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Press Release

Bahamian Man Sentenced to 60 Months in Prison for Alien Smuggling

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Florida

A Bahamian man was sentenced to 60 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Marra in West Palm Beach, following his second conviction for alien smuggling. 

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Robert C. Hutchinson, Acting Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), Miami Field Office, made the announcement. 

Detric Demetris Butler, 32, of Bahamas, was sentenced on February 5, 2016, following his conviction for one count of transporting aliens into the United States, in violation of Title 8, United States Code, Section 1324(a), as well as one count of failure to heave to a vessel, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2237. 

According to court documents, Butler was at the wheel of a boat from the Bahamas during the night of September 8, 2015, four miles off the Florida coast in the early morning hours opposite St. Lucie County.  With Butler in the boat were 20 other passengers, all unauthorized aliens from Haiti and the Bahamas.  Two of the aliens aboard were unaccompanied minors.  Upon approach by a U.S. Coast Guard cutter, Butler took the helm and attempted to flee and evade the intercepting U.S. vessel.  After Butler ignored hailing and a warning shot fired across the bow, the Coast Guard stopped Butler’s vessel with a shotgun blast into the engine of his boat. 

Butler was previously convicted of alien smuggling, in 2013, and had been sentenced to three years (36 months) in prison. 

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of ICE-HSI and the assistance of the U.S. Coast Guard.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Theodore M. Cooperstein. 

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or on

Updated February 8, 2016

Human Smuggling